An interview and caricature of H.R.H. Prince Leonard I of Hutt River wearing his royal regalia, by Australian caricaturist Mick Joffe. The Principality of Hutt River is located 595km north of Perth in Western Australia. It comprises an area of approximately 18, 500 acres of farmland and is ruled as an independent sovereign nation by Prince Leonard I and his wife Princess Shirley. Following a dispute over damaging new Wheat Quotas introduced by the Australian government in 1969, and subsequent laws to enforce them, WA farmer Leonard George Casley seceded from Australia in April 1970. He based his legal argument for secession on a number of legal principles and laws, including medieval laws such as Magna Carta, the Statute of Westminster and the 1496 Treason Act. As he explains to Mick Joffe during this interview, “The Government had no right to take anyone’s ability to make a living or to take their land without compensation. These rights Australia inherited from the Bill of Rights and the Magna Carta”. Prince Leonard also established his own College of Heraldry in the Principality of Hutt River, and estimates that (as of 1995) he had bestowed approximately 200 peerages and knighthoods. For more on the Principality of Hutt River or the Royal College of Heraldry, see: http://www.hutt-river-province.com/
Furthermore, Prince Leonard I declares an ongoing interest in the science of gravity, relativity and physics, and established a Royal College of Advanced Research in the Principality of Hutt River. During this interview Joffe cites feedback that Casley received from the Department of Astronamy [sic] at Indiana University in 1963 regarding papers he published on Relativity and the Solar system. The letter suggests that he may have “made the first fundamental contribution in this field since Copernicus” (For a copy of this letter, see R.C. Hyslop, The Man: His Royal Highness Prince Leonard, Sovereign of the Hutt River Province Principality (An Independent Sovereign State), Publication Printers, West Perth, , p.12). Copernicus was a Renaissance mathematician and astronomer who proposed the heliocentric model of cosmology whereby the sun remains stationary and is orbited by the Earth. Copernicus is often credited with starting the Scientific Revolution.